02.08.1940 18 Squadron Blenheim IV L9422 Sgt. John H. Davies
Operation: Haamstede Airfield
Date: 2nd August 1940 (Friday)
Unit: 18 Squadron
Type: Blenheim IV
Base: RAF West Raynham, Norfolk
Location: De Boer Schouwse Hotel, Haamstede, Netherlands
Pilot: Sgt. John Harold Davies 742518 RAFVR Age 24. Killed
Obs: Sgt. Kenneth Roy Bryant 755318 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Warren Seymour Barrett 905832 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
No less than thirty six Blenheims taking off from various airfields, to attack several airfields over Holland. L9422 taking off from RAF West Raynham, Norfolk at 09:35 hrs. Only 24 planes carried out the attacks on the specified targets at: Soesterberg, Leeuwarden, Schiphol, Waalhaven and Haamstede.
Above the crew of L9422 Left to Right: Sgt. Warren Barrett, Sgt. John Davies and Sgt. Kenneth Bryant (courtesy Stuart Chaplin and Jon Whight)
Haamstede was bombed by three aircraft, dropping 6 x 250 lbs, 30 x 40 x 4 lbs and 60 lbs. One burst was seen on the aerodrome but others were not observed. Two of the aircraft were attacked by Me109's. One evaded Into the Cloud, the other was seen to emit smoke and disappeared.
The Dutch Airwar Studygroup claimed that Lt. Bernhard Malischewski from 4./JG 54 shot down the aircraft at 12:00 hrs which crashed at Haamstede near De Schouwse Boer, Zeeland.
The OKL (Luftwaffe High Command) Fighter Claims Lists records three Blenheims as having been shot down on this day, two of which were claimed by pilots from JG 54 but neither of which were by Lt. Malischewski. Additionally the locations were nowhere in the vicinity of Haamstede.
The OKL Fighter Claims Lists, records Lt. Malischewski as having 3 Abschuss claims albeit that the 3rd in the list for the 27th September 1940, is annotated as his 4th Abschuss. It is possible that his 3rd Abschuss was indeed L9422 but is missing from the Fighter Claims List.
Graham Warner’s publication, ’The Bristol Blenheim - A Complete History’, does describe L9422 as being lost to a pilot from JG54
Lt. Malischewski whilst with Stab II./JG54 was flying Bf 109-E Black <I+ (w.nr.4869).
Note: Operating with 92 Squadron RAF from RAF Biggin Hill on 12 October 1940 whilst on leave from 257 Squadron RAF, acting Sqn.Ldr. Roland RS "Bob" Tuck reported on the encounter with Bf 109E-4 Black Chevron and Bar over Tenterden at 10.15 resulting in the capture of Lt Bernhard Malischewski of Stab II./JG 54 at Chapel Holdings, Small Hythe.
Blenheim L9422 is understood to have come down behind the De Boer Schouwse Hotel as shown above, in 2014.
The great series of photographs and details of the operation were sent to us by Stuart Chaplin and Jon Whight - relatives of Sgt. Warren Barrett. (Shown above and right at the Gt. Yarmouth Treasurer's office, Norfolk, England, where he worked prior to enlisting - courtesy Mrs Doreen Schei née Barratt, Stuart Chaplin and Jon Whight))
Warren Barrett with his mother outside 413 Spring Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, England - right, same house - 2014 (courtesy Mrs Doreen Schei née Barratt,Stuart Chaplin and Jon Whight)
Newspaper cuttings from the day. The other local chap mentioned, Sgt. John Lansdale (1) was killed flying with 607 Squadron. Hurricane I P3860 was shot down by Hptm. Neumann from 1/JG27 at 15:40 hrs on Tuesday, 17th September 1940. The aircraft crashed at the 'Bell Inn' Beltring, Kent.
The funeral for the crew of L9422 - showing the enormous respect the Luftwaffe held to allied aircrews (courtesy Stuart Chaplin and Jon Whight, Mrs Doreen Schei née Barratt)
Buried initially at a temporary military cemetery in Haamstede prior to reinterment at Bergen-Op-Zoom CWGC cemetery after the end of the war.
Sgt. John Harold Davies. Bergen-Op-Zoom War Cemetery. Grave 20.A.10. Further information: John Harold Davies' Mother's maiden name was Roberts. (She was my Husband's Granddad's Sister born in Chirk, Wales). I am able to confirm that John Harold Davies married Edna May Thompson in 1940 in Cirencester. Edna's Father was a Policeman. When he retired he took The Black Horse Hotel, Castle Street. The couple lived with them after they were married. Servicemen sometimes stayed there and I am told that they often scratched their initials/names on to the glass window panes of their rooms. The immediate family visited John Harold's grave in the Netherlands shortly after the war where there was only a cross bearing his name to mark it. Edna has revisited since. John Harold had a baby daughter born early 1941, the year following his death. (Submitted by Janet Roberts - March 2017) Grave inscription reads: "Your Memory Hallowed In The Land You Loved".
Sgt. Kenneth Roy Bryant. Bergen-Op-Zoom War Cemetery. Grave 20.A.5. Born in the 3rd quarter of 1919 in Hayes, Bromley. Kent. Son of Thomas Benjamin and Elizabeth Martha (née Attwood) Bryant, of Hayes, Bromley, Kent, England. His father predeceased him in 1928. Grave inscription reads: "In Cherished Memory. God Bless You".
Sgt. Warren Seymour Barrett. Bergen-Op-Zoom War Cemetery. Grave 20.A.11. Son of William Frederick and Emma Edith Barrett, of Burgh Castle, Suffolk, England. Grave inscription reads: ’Not a day do we forget, in our hearts, you are always near, Dad, Mum and Doreen.’ (Shown above - courtesy Stuart Chaplin and Jon Whight)
(1) Sgt. John Lansdale. Hempnall (St. Margarets) Churchyard, Norfolk. CWGC grave. Son of William Albert and Ellen Sarah Lansdell, of Great Yarmouth. Note: John Lansdale held a first class honours degree in aeronautics and was a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society)
Medals given to the sister of Warren Barrett and treasured. (courtesy Stuart Chaplin and Jon Whight, Mrs Doreen Schei née Barratt)
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Stuart Chaplin and Jon Whight, relatives of Sgt. Barrett for their extensive research, Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Kate Tame, National Archives - Air 14-3361, Janet Roberts who contacted us in March 2017. Graham Warner - 'The Bristol Blenheim’. Updated by Aircrew Remembered (Sep 2020)
Further details can also be found on the Wings to Victory website.